International LGBTQIA+ creatives join LeftCoast this Pride month to seek artistic inspiration from Blackpool
LGBTQIA+ creatives are heading to Blackpool this Pride month where they’ll seek artistic inspiration from the town.
Artists Estabrak, Rowdy SS, Tammy Reynolds and Whiskey Chow will be residing at the Art B&B on Blackpool seafront where local arts company LeftCoast will host their stay.
The group are coming as part of the national, artist development programme New Queers on the Block, which is led by Brighton’s Marlborough Productions - funded by Arts Council England, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, and Paul Hamlyn Foundation.
Over the past three years, LeftCoast has worked with this organisation to collaborate with LGBTQIA+ artists and encourage their development and artistic experimentation.
Tina Redford, LeftCoast’s Artistic Director, said: “In previous years, several venues in the town have hosted New Queers’ work that has already been produced and toured around the country. This is the first time, for artists outside of Blackpool, that the catalyst for new work starts here.
“The town is rich with progressive queer work from local creatives such as Bellez, Harry Clayton-Wright, Garth Gratrix and Catlow, so, we think there will be plenty of local places and communities of interest to provide fresh ideas and inspire new performances.”
The four visiting artists intend to produce work embracing comedy, cabaret, dance and martial arts.
Award winning cross-disciplinary artist, film maker, facilitator and researcher, Estabrak, will be creating a backgammon set, which she hopes will instigate conversation about scattered populations whose origins lie in separate geographic locations.
Whiskey Chow, who curated and performed in the Chinese Arts Now Festival ‘Queering Now’, will explore queer fight starting with Bruce Lee’s quote as inspiration: “Using no way as way; having no limitation as limitation”.
Tammy Reynolds, who also performs as their drag alter-ego Midgitte Bardot, will use this residency to explore circus and ‘freak show’ heritage.
While Rowdy SS is looking to continue his ongoing dance/sound/visual performance work, BALANCE. He was previously a member of the Berlin-based noise band Atari Teenage Riot and has worked with international artists such as the late dub pioneer Lee Scratch Perry.
Blackpool based theatre-maker and local associate producer for New Queers on the Block Mykey Young said: "Through New Queers on the Block activity across the last few years, we have been able to bring world-class, queer artists and their work to Blackpool. In doing so it has given us the opportunity to allow our strong, passionate and vibrant residential LGBTQIA+ community the opportunity to see incredible, high quality work they may normally only have access to if and when visiting major cities.
"As we continue to develop our relationship with New Queers on the Block here in Blackpool, it is a really exciting time for us to be able to host these exceptional artists during a pivotal moment in their own development.
“Blackpool is my hometown and a place that has influenced much of my own work throughout my career to date. I can't wait to share its fascinating heritage and inspiring places and spaces with Rowdy SS, Tammy, Estabrak and Whiskey when they come to visit. It will be interesting to see how Blackpool might stimulate new ideas that they might take forward when creating future artistic works."
As part of the New Queers on the Block project, LeftCoast has also commissioned local artist Catlow, who is curating the show Do Not Read. The performance is based around her teenage diaries, and will see Catlow delve deep into the mind of her younger self.
Catlow said: “As a young queer person, for New Queers on the Block to exist now is a really nice thing, because when we were younger, there potentially wasn’t that help out there to expand and develop these ideas.”
An initial showing will take place in Autumn, with more details to follow.